The first belfry was recorded in 1112. That was destroyed, and the second, 14th century version was said to be the finest north of Paris. That in turn was destroyed and the appearance of the one we see today dates from 1560 with the addition in 1627 of the slate-covered octagonal lantern; however, it had to be restored after the Germans dynamited it in 1944. Happily the bells had been removed and survived.
The belfry is 47m high, square-shaped, of yellow brick. There is an arcaded porch at the entrance but above it is quite simple in design with corner turrets as the only adornment. The Lion of Flanders at the top was temporarily replaced during the Revolution by a Phrygian bonnet. The carillon of 50 bells strikes at 11am on Monday mornings.
193 steps take visitors to the top, past displays about the history of the belfry. Opening details are on the website. It is one of a group of belfries of the region which are now collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Manage your bookmarks
Add hotels to your Favorites by clicking the heart.